The city of Qom is the religious heart of Iran and is a true place of pilgrimage. I have been fascinated by the city of Qom for many years. Because this is the city which was called home by ayatollah Khomeini for years. I’ve read several books on Iran and Qom always plays a part in them. The holy city of Iran is full of mullahs and Koran schools. Trying to imagine how the city looks like never really worked out and I decided to have a look at it in real life. Definitely worthwhile to visit Qom in Iran!
Read everything you need to know for a visit to this holy city Qom in Iran.
History of Qom
Qom is a city in Iran with almost 1 million inhabitants at the moment. This city of mullahs is home to many Islamic schools and mosques. The reason why is because Qom became a very important Shiite pilgrimage site in the 7th century. In 816, Fatima, sister of the 8th Imam Reza died here in Qom, on the way to visit her brother in Mashad. The holy shrine in which Fatima is buried is in Qom and her mausoleum has given Qom a lot of prominence.
Thousands of Shiite pilgrims, from all over the world, will visit the city to see the shrine in which Fatima is buried and ask for her blessing. Qom is also the place where Ayatollah Khomeini used to live and study. He gave Shiite Islamic lectures here.
Why is Fatima so beloved?
Shiites worship 12 imams, direct descendants of the prophet Mohammed. Fatima, daughter of the seventh imam and sister to the eight imam Reza, died in Qom, when she was on her way to visit her brother in Mashad. Fatima holds a unique status among family members of the prophet. She was very devoted, intelligent yet humble.
What to do in Qom?
A visit to the mausoleum of Fatima is the main attraction in Qom and is indeed very impressive. The domes and minarets are astonishing, especially on a very sunny day, as the sun makes them shine. Luckily, Fatima’s mausoleum is also open to non-Muslims. There is a very strict dress code and it is important to stick to the clothing regulations here, otherwise you aren’t allowed to visit the mausoleum.
At the entrance, you will receive a chador, which you must wear. As with many holy places in Iran, you can’t visit it without being accompanied by a local guide. There is no need to book this guide in advance, as he’ll show up as soon as you enter. The guides can be recognized by their colored feather dusters.
Please note; women enter the mosque through the silver entrance and men enter through the gold-colored arch, meaning men and women visit the mosque separately.
Beside visiting the mausoleum, it is also fascinating to just walk around the town for a bit. A true feast for the eyes! Qom is a bustling city with all kinds of pilgrims and little shops. Specialty of Qom are the very sweet cookies with saffron.
Near the mausoleum you’ll also find a cemetery, which is also interesting to check out.
Tips for your visit to Qom in Iran
Qom is about a 2,5-hour drive south of Teheran en route to Kashan and Esfahan. This makes Qom the ideal place for a stopover if you are on your way to one of these cities. Half a day is enough to get an impression of this city. There are also possibilities to stay a night in Qom.
Would you like to visit Qom in Iran?
Read more about Iran
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- 7 must do’s in Esfahan
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